Leeds United were in the hunt to sign Albanian centre-back Marash Kumbulla last summer as Marcelo Bielsa aimed to bolster his defence, according to Telegraph journalist Mike McGrath.

Kumbulla, 21, is set to play against England for Albania on Sunday in a World Cup qualifier but it seems he could have moved to the Premier League last year amid interest from English top-flight clubs.

The Italian-born defender, who’s contracted to Hellas Verona, opted to join Roma on a two-year loan deal with an option for a permanent switch.

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Although he seemed to have snubbed Leeds in favour of Rome in 2020, he hasn’t ruled out a potential move to England in the future.

“It was some approach from Premier League teams, it is true,” Kumbulla told The Telegraph.

“In the end, I preferred to stay in Italy and take the step to one of the biggest teams in Serie A.

“I made the right choice. I’m in a traditional team with emotional supporters and an ambitious project in Italy.

“But the Premier League is one of my favourite championships so in the future why not? You never know.”

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Leeds centre-back options sorted

It’s very unlikely that Kumbulla will be moving any time soon with the defender yet to hit the halfway mark in his loan at Roma and a possible permanent switch could still happen.

But for now, Leeds don’t need any additions to their centre-back options.

Kumbulla must have been on a big list of names that Victor Orta drew up for the last summer transfer window before the Whites eventually signed Robin Koch and Diego Llorente, internationals for Germany and Spain respectively.

While both have had their injury issues, it’s fair to say that them, plus Liam Cooper, Pascal Struijk, Luke Ayling and Kalvin Phillips, Leeds don’t need to spend on centre-back reinforcements this year.

However, in a couple of years time, we might see Kumbulla’s name mentioned again alongside Leeds’ if he develops well at Stadio Olimpico.

The four-time Albania international is yet to cement his spot in the Roma starting line-up but has managed 23 appearances in all competitions this season and was trusted to start at the back in Serie A clashes with Juventus and AC Milan, who he scored against in October at the San Siro.

Let’s also see how he performs against England on Sunday. That will likely to tell a lot about this player and how he can pan out in the future.

In other Leeds United news, Kalvin Phillips didn’t get the credit he deserved from idiotic England fans on Thursday.


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